He said he'd be there
She said sometimes I need you
A love story
Based on Jim Henson's Labyrinth
Yeah you all know the drill by now.
I don't own it…
Yada yada yada..
(Yeah I know, but we need to keep it legal)
I don't own the Labyrinth
Nor do I own its inhabitants
I receive no payment in the way of legal tender for this work
I receive only the blessings and gratitude of a grateful King
End of silly disclaimer
If you want the legal jargon
You must visit the Goblin Legal Department…
*I wouldn't do that if I were you.*
*Words of the prologue and some other sections come from the novelization by*
Words from the Early movie script LABYRINTH: by Laura Phillips and Terry Jones. Story by Dennis Lee
*With corrections and additions by moi in italics*
Hoggle popped up from behind the bed. "Yes, if you ever need us... for any reason at all ..." He stared at her from under his bushy eyebrows, and started to fade.
Sarah said, "I need you Hoggle."
The dwarf stopped fading, he stared at her open mouthed for a moment before stuttering, "You do?"
Sarah nodded, trying to understand and acknowledge the conflict of her statement. "Sometimes, for no reason at all," she sighed, "I need you…. I need all of you…."
"You do," Hoggle gasped, "Well why didn't you say so?"
Outside the dark window, the barn owl had been perched with his claws hooked on a branch, an effigy of watching and waiting. Now he swooped away over the park, on silent velvet wings, up toward the full moon. Nobody saw him, white in the moonlight, black against the stars.
Linda Williams sat across from her daughter in the restaurant in Manhattan trying not to lose her temper in public. She had a reputation to maintain and not even Sarah's silly little drama was worth tarnishing that. She had forgotten all about the lunch date she'd set up with the girl, and now sitting across from her in her idea of casual wear she found herself feeling a bit embarrassed. Sarah's peasant shirt and jeans were fashionable, but far too casual for Linda's tastes. All during lunch the girl had railed against what she considered the unfair actions taken by her father and her stepmother, not once asking Linda how her day had been going, "Sarah," she said keeping her voice very low, "I'm not sure why you're telling me all this… your father is the one who should be dealing with this."
Sarah Williams stared at her mother, "He's not a girl."
Schooling her features, knowing there were gossips in this town who would love to crucify her she leaned forward keeping her voice low, "No dear he's not, but he is your father."
"And you're my mother."
Linda bristled at the volume her daughter used to make the statement, "I'm aware," her tone took on that don't mess with me edge. "Still, you live with him."
"Can't I come live with you?"
"I not home enough to supervise you."
"I don't need to be supervised!"
"Of course you do, you're only fourteen…"
"Sixteen," Sarah corrected with a hurt expression.
Linda frowned, first at being corrected, then at being corrected publicly where someone could put two and two together and figure out her mysterious age. "I could have sworn…"
"You and Jeremy took me out for a night on the town for my fifteenth," she reminded her mother, "That was last year… this year you were out of town and sent me a basket of flowers."
"They were very nice flowers."
"I didn't say that they weren't."
Emerald eyes a shade darker than her daughters swept over the room to be sure they were not being observed, "Sarah lower your voice," she warned dangerously.
"Mom, please you don't know what its like," the girl whined a bit. "Karen won't listen to reason, and she never sees that she's being unfair, or doting on Toby… she's not my mother." Sarah saw Linda bristle and stiffen at the mention of the word mother. "I can transfer to the public high school that's two blocks from your apartment…."
The actress sighed heavily before confronting the girl, "Sarah I'm not going to be at my apartment, I'm going overseas for three months of shooting on a miniseries."
"When were you going to tell me," Sarah asked with hurt feelings, tears welling in her eyes. "Or were you just going to send me a note after you'd left town again?"
"Sarah, I'm a working actress," her mother reminded her curtly. "I go where the work is and I don't need permission to do so; you should know that by now." Crossing her arms her face turned stony, "Your father has custody of you for good reasons and is going to keep custody of you… when you're eighteen you can move out on your own, and not before."
"Mom," Sarah begged once more, "Please just let me come for the rest of the summer…"
"Sarah stop that, you're acting like a child." The words stung and Sarah pulled back into herself, Linda went on in a tone of disdain she'd never before used on Sarah, "You're quite the little drama queen and I'll take part of the blame for that… but this business of you jumping on a train to come into the city to disturb my working day is going to stop right now. I don't have custody and I am working… you have a problem with Karen and your father I suggest you work it out with them. Frankly I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill over not being able to do what you want… you're behaving like a spoiled little brat."
Sarah leaned back in the chair, "I thought for sure you'd be the one who would understand."
"Oh I understand," Linda sneered, "You thought you could come here and pit me against your father. Well it won't work." She sipped her coffee to sooth her nerves, "Finish your meal; I'll call a cab to take you back to Nyack."
"Don't bother," Sarah answered sullenly, "I've my return train ticket."
The cup made noise as Linda lowered it to her saucer, "If you're so grown up at sixteen I suggest you start behaving it starting now. I'm sure you can find your way to the train station, can't you?"
"Not a problem," Sarah retorted.
"Fine," Linda said motioning a waiter over. She paid the check and stood up, "I'll be leaving in a week, and I'll call you before I go." She tapped her toe waiting for the girl to stand as well.
"Don't bother; I know how busy you are." Sarah turned without saying goodbye or offering to kiss her mother's cheek. She didn't stop until she was out of the trendy restaurant where her mother had insisted on going. Hurt, disillusioned and totally disenchanted Sarah walked in the direction of the train station muttering to herself how unfair life was. The ride back to suburbia was quiet and unpleasant for the girl with Sarah staring out the window. The tall buildings of the city giving way to shorter apartments and then houses and quaint business districts as the train made its way north of the city.
The train station in Nyack was only a glorified platform now. Sarah left the train and headed toward home; a two mile hike that she was only too happy to take and dawdle. Her trek took her through and past the familiar stomping grounds of the park. She took the side path down to the pond, across the stone foot bridge and into the knolls where swans swam lazily in a little spring fed pond. Sarah scowled as she looked at the stone obelisk where a year ago she'd been reciting lines from her favorite book. It looked very much as it always had, with one exception. The barn owl that frequented the park had not been seen in ages. Approaching the monolith she extended her foot and swiftly kicked at it. "It's not fair," she grumbled. "Karen's unreasonable, Dad is oblivious and Mom… is insensible, indifferent, and just heartless…"
"I wish things were the way they used to be," she moaned leaning on the stone pillar; "Growing up sucks."
Still leaning on the stone she went over the events of the last year. The big storm that had taken out the power in her neighborhood while she'd baby sat Toby. The trauma of the storm and her hallucination… one she'd kept to herself as she didn't want Karen dragging her off to a shrink. Even if there had been times in the first days after the storm that she herself had considered she might actually need a shrink, she didn't want Karen involved! She put the blame on the barn owl that'd come in when the window in Toby's room had flung open. It had been months before she could get through a storm without having the begeebees scared out of her. Sarah had even taken to sleeping with a nightlight on, much to her everlasting shame. She had tried so hard after that to be more accepting of Karen. Well, she thought to herself, she had tried, sort of.
But nothing was ever enough. Good grades, better behavior around the house~ nothing. Karen would never be cool. Now her father who had always doted on her was supporting his wife, and going along with her on most everything. It was enough to make Sarah scream. And to top it all Toby was going through the terrible twos making everyone in the house miserable. Having taken out her frustration on the stone pillar, Sarah turned to head home as the clock in the tower across the park rang seven.
Karen came out to the porch dressed for an evening out and stared at the girl, "Where have you been," she barked. "I've been calling everywhere for you."
"I had lunch in town with my mother today," Sarah answered with an expression on her face that was bordering on insulting. She walked past the woman and into the house.
Karen followed her, "I don't recall you saying…"
"It's on the calendar in the kitchen," Sarah waved a hand toward the room.
Needing to prove the girl wrong the woman stormed into the kitchen and looked. Her facial expression changed, "It is…" She closed her eyes whispered something about losing her mind and looked over at Sarah. "I'm sorry, you're right, you did say you were having lunch in town… It's just that this dinner is so important…"
"I told you I'd be back in time to sit with the squirt," Sarah rolled her eyes upward.
"Yes you did," Karen agreed still on edge, "Thank you for being so… prompt… Did you have a nice lunch?"
"It was okay," Sarah lied suddenly, she had planned on saying no it was awful and it's your fault. But looking at Karen had put that thought out of her head. "You look like you're going to crawl outta your skin. Why are you so on edge?"
"I'm worried about this dinner meeting," Karen confessed. "A full partnership is riding on this."
"Don't worry," Sarah sighed distractedly, "Daddy is a shoe in, and he's brilliant in the courtroom."
"He's not the only candidate, Sarah," Karen lamented. Taking a moment she composed herself and put on her game face much as Linda would put on makeup for the stage. "Toby has been fed, and he's got a little touch of a cold... or maybe it's an allergy… I gave him something to clear his head and he's down, just check him a couple of times."
"Sure," Sarah agreed.
"There's money for a pizza in the foyer, and Merlin is in the garage, it looks like a storm is going to roll in," Karen said moving toward the front door when she heard Robert coming down the stairs. "Just remember, no staying on the phone, no loud music and no visitors."
Sarah nodded, "Yeah yeah yeah," she motioned her hands to shoo them out the door. "I've got it, it's not the first time I've sat with him you know."
Robert opened the door, "Looks like a storm coming in," it was starting to rain. "Great, driving to the country club in rain," he grabbed an umbrella, "Night princess." He kissed her in passing.
"Night Dad," she replied.
Karen hesitated; looking oddly like a goose had just crossed her grave. "Sarah," she lowered her voice, "Don't open this door to any strangers…."
"I'm not four years old," she answered with a bit more sass than she'd meant to. Sarah was aware of Karen's Irish superstations, but tonight was not the night to tease her stepmother about them. "Look, you're letting memories of that storm last year spook you… just go, have a nice dinner and do the corporate wifey thing. Get Daddy his partnership," Sarah advised a bit more munificently. Karen nodded, grabbed her umbrella and followed Robert to the car where he was now waiting.
Sarah closed the door and said aloud, "I thought they would never leave…."
'Neither did I' she thought she heard. Looking around she wondered if Karen had just spooked her into a mind bender frame. She laughed lightheartedly for the first time that day, or for many days. Picked up the phone, dialed the pizza parlor and made her order. Sarah moved back to the kitchen to set the table for one. Karen had rules as to where you could eat and where you couldn't eat. Sarah found it easier to follow the rules than to buck them, and this one made sense. If Karen wanted pizza eaten in the kitchen where it was less mess why argue.
The storm was still building when the pizza was delivered, and Sarah shut the door behind the delivery man tightly after he had been paid and left. She carried the hot pie into to the kitchen and set it on the counter. Eating alone was no fun, but Karen had left strict orders, no visitors. Even if she could have a visitor there was no one to call. In the last year she'd dated sporadically but no one ever took her breath away. She'd have a date or two, and move on. If a guy lasted two weeks it was an event for Sarah. Even her girl friends of which there were only a few knew that she couldn't have guests when her parents went out. Besides being Saturday night it was date night and only losers were not out having fun. Thinking she heard a bit of fussiness Sarah left her half eaten slice of pizza and headed up the stairs.
The storm delivered a lightning flash and clap of thunder directly above the house. It rattled the windows in their frames. Teacups danced in the kitchen cupboard. Lightning cracked. Thunder crashed. Lightning flashed and thunder hammered the air. Merlin barked out in the garage as if all the burglars in the world were closing in. For a moment Sarah froze on the stair, this was all a bit too familiar. She moved to the hall outside Toby's room and peered in, listing to him fuss but not cry out.
The storm raged on over the house; clouds boiled and rain lashed the leaves on the trees. Thunder was followed by lightning. Sarah was listening. What she was listening to was an unnatural silence within the house. Toby had stopped fussing, so suddenly it scared her. She looked back inside the nursery. The bedside light was out. "Toby?" she called. He did not respond.
She flicked the light switch beside the door. Nothing happened. She jiggled it up and down several times to no effect. A board creaked. "Toby? Are you all right? Why aren't you crying? I'm sure this storm scares you as much as it's scaring me," She stepped nervously into the quiet room. The light from the landing, coming through the doorway, threw unfamiliar shadows onto the walls and across the carpet. In the lull between two thunderclaps, she thought she heard a humming in the air. She could detect no movement at all in the crib.
"Toby," she whispered in anxiety, and walked toward the crib with her breath drawn. Her hands were shaking like aspen leaves. She reached out to pull the sheet back. If she'd expected to find the crib unoccupied she was mistaken. Toby lay there with his eyes wide open and his face for a moment devoid of anything that was remotely human. Lightning whipped against the sky and the room was illuminated, when Sarah looked back Toby looked up at her with a dazed expression before closing his eyes to her and the storm.
Sarah took a long ragged breath, "Get a grip Sarah," she said aloud. "The kid is drugged to the gills with Karen's cold meds. He's fine…" she tucked him up making sure Lancelot was in his arm and told herself the wiring in this room was faulty and she'd have her father call someone. She didn't bother trying the wall switch again, and ignored the rattling of the window being pleated with rain.
Had she looked she'd have seen a barn owl flapping insistently on the glass. The light from the landing reflected in its great, round, dark eyes, watching her. The whiteness of its plumage was illuminated by a series of lightning flashes that seemed continuous.
Turning back to take one last look in the room Sarah saw something lying on the floor just under the crib that she didn't recall seeing there before. Her hands trembled when returning to the room she bent to retrieve the item from the floor. It was something that shouldn't be here, something that shouldn't be anywhere. Something she'd put away a year ago… a red leather bound book with gold leaf letters reading 'Labyrinth'. Sarah blinked several times, trying to understand. The thunder of the storm over head was joined by a thunderous pounding on the front door. Sarah tucked the book into her pocket and headed down the stairs.
Sarah approached the front door with some trepidation. She started to open it, and then realized what she was doing. She fastened the chain and only then opened the door a crack. Through the door opening Sarah can see a very elegantly dressed, quite good-looking man of an indeterminate age. He had a worldly air, or was it other-worldly? Before he could speak a flash of lightning illuminated his face. He was a mesmerizing sight and Sarah couldn't help but gawk, her mouth dropped open slightly then shut tightly. Lightning crackled and flashed again, and this time it distracted her attention from the open door by shining on the clock that stood on thewall shelf. She saw that the hands were at thirteen o'clock. She was staring distractedly at the clock when she felt something nudge the back of her legs. She glanced down to find nothing there. Sarah's lips parted, but she made no sound. In that instant lightning flashed again and the stranger appeared to wear a cloak, which swirled in the wind. She could see that his hair was shoulder-length and blond. Something glinted about his neck; more than that she could not see in the flash light. She blinked as one does when a camera flash goes off. When she looked again she saw an elegantly dressed man smiling at her with an all too gentle and engraciating smile.
"Excuse me; is this the home of Sarah Williams ... Sarah Williams, the actress?"A voice with a very British accent inquired.
She said, "Uh ...," and cleared her throat. "Who are you?"
"Allow me to introduce myself ..." he held out his gloved hand reaching in from the crack, "I'm Robin Zaker."
Sarah stared at the hand as if she expected it to contain a snake, "Robin Zaker," she repeated. "Robin Zaker the author?" He was certainly handsome. She had not expected that.
"That's right," he nodded, "I wrote a book that's being used as a play in a lot of community high schools… I understand you tried out for a part last year…It got rave reviews I'm told."
Sarah's hand hesitates over the chain for just a moment, and then she unfastened it and opened the door. Robin Zaker entered and extended his hand taking hers into it. He bent over her hand while addressing her, "Miss Williams I'm delighted to meet you at last."
Strange sounds came from upstairs, Sarah whispered, "Toby? Excuse me, I have to check on my brother…. Don't' move," Sarah moved past the stranger who wore an oddly triumphant smile while she went up the stairs.
He looked about the foyer with a critical eye before leisurely moving up the stairs as well. His face calm and composed against the flashes of light that were now almost a strobe. He was outside the bedroom looking in at the girl who was trying to figure out what the hell was going on, "Can I be of help Sarah?" He asked in a manner that was far too personal.
Sarah's lips parted, but she made no sound. Behind her, something snickered. She spun around and saw it duck down again behind the chest of drawers. Shadows were scuttling across the walls, were prancing and bobbing behind her. Suddenly they were gone; the shadows vanished as if they had not been there. She looked at the man, "What are you doing here, you don't belong up here!"
Smoothly he answered, "I wondered if I could be of help…I've been told I'm very good with children."
"No," Sarah answered sharply, "You cannot be of help, now please go back down stairs… I'll be with you in a moment." She pointed the way back to the stairs. She was not certain for a very long moment if he would follow her instructions. Robin Zaker shrugged before he turned.
Sarah checked the room thoroughly, making sure the window latch was locked and that the room was secure. Nothing was out of place, and Toby was sleeping peacefully. She left his bedroom door ajar, so that if he should waken and need her she'd hear him. Only when she was standing out in the hall did it dawn on her that she'd allowed a stranger into the house. "Shit," she said aloud, "Karen's going to kill me."
Sarah hurried down the stairs, but the foyer was empty. She wondered for a moment if the man had been a hallucination. She hoped the stranger had left but when she heard music coming from the stereo in the parlor her hope was dashed. The man who had introduced himself as Robin Zaker sat on the sofa with a drink poured from the bar set. He smiled at her enticingly, patted the cushion beside him and invited her, "Come and sit beside me, and we'll have a little chat."
"Who said you could pour yourself a drink," she asked crossing her arms defensively before she entered the parlor.
"Customary to offer refreshment to a caller," he teased, took a sip and placed the glass on a costar. "Come, sit."
"I prefer to stand, thank you."
Leaning back he leered at her openly, "Suit yourself," his voice was husky, "Personally this view is fine with me. I can see why you were picked for the part of Queen Meander."
"That play was last year's news," Sarah stated icily.
The man sighed, "You're not being very friendly Miss Williams."
"I have no reason to be," Sarah stared at him, sipping her father's good Scotch and making himself entirely too at home. "I didn't invite you here." A chill ran through her when the man gave her a rakish grin, "Maybe you'd better leave," she began to tap her foot impatiently. "I don't care to discuss the play with you, not now, not ever."
Robin stood up leaving his drink on the coffee table, Sarah hoped she'd convinced him to go. However he didn't move to the foyer he came to stand directly opposite her, "I don't care to discuss the play either," he said effortlessly, his hand reached out and he stroked her cheek. Sarah was very disturbed by this, "I'm very concerned about you Sarah." He insisted. Lightning crackled and flashed again, his face during that one instant had changed. He looked like no other human she'd ever known, he looked…
Sarah backed away from his touch as she did a loud thud came from the baby's bedroom above. "Toby," she exclaimed. Sarah ran to the stairs intending on getting to her brother and locking herself in his room. She shoved the door open with difficulty, as if someone or something were holding it shut. Her eyes opened as Sarah was watching the chest of drawers. Like the crib, it had a scaly, clawed foot at each corner, and both were dancing with Toby sleeping peacefully in the bed. Suddenly every piece of furniture in the room was moving.
She wheeled around, mouth open, hands clenched, and saw goblins cavorting. They ducked away into the shadows, to evade her eyes. She looked for something that would serve as a weapon. In the corner of the nursery was an old broom. She took it and advanced upon the goblins. "Go away. Go away," she whimpered, trying to sweep them up, but the handle of the broom twisted in her hands and slithered out of her grasp. The storm wind rose to a pitch. Lightning made daylight in the room, and scared faces suddenly began to vanish into cupboards, drawers, or down the cracks between floorboards. As the thunder boomed and the wind shook the curtains, a blast of air blew the window open. The humming that she had thought she heard in the air was now quite distinct, and musical. The stranger had followed her back upstairs and smiled at her hesitancy. When she spoke, her voice was a whisper. "You're ...the Goblin King."
The man smiled wickedly, "No kiss hello?"